Essential how-to guide for moving into your first home

March 31, 2016

Getting ready to move into your first home is a thrill. But unless you have a plan, you won’t be going anywhere fast because there’s so much to do. Here’s some advice to help get you settled with minimal hassle.

Essential how-to guide for moving into your first home

You’ve signed on the dotted line and just bought your first home. It feels amazing! But the excitement is just beginning. There are so many essential things to remember to do before you move, from painting and renovating to packing up your things, that without a plan they can throw you for a loop. Here’s some helpful advice to get you into your new home fast.

Where to start

Before you call in favours and start planning, think about what you’d like to do to your new home before you move in and write out a moving day 'to-do' checklist.

  • Does it need minor repairs? A good cleaning? What about connecting the utilities to make it more welcoming?

As well, are you planning any minor renovations? Will you be doing them yourself? Or will you need a professional?

Even if a lick of paint before moving in is all you intend to do, think about the feasibility of living in the house while it’s a construction zone. Or would prefer to have everything finished before moving in? If you’re leaning towards renovating after you move you should:

  • Make sure living spaces are well-ventilated.
  • Check that no one is allergic to the materials being used during the renovations.
  • Isolate the work space.

When’s the best time to move?

Sometimes you simply can’t choose your moving date. Why?

  • It  depends on when you take possession of your new home, how long you can stay in your old place (especially if someone new is waiting for it) and if you can move during the middle of the week when rates are better.

If you bought your home in winter, there are some advantages to a winter move. For example, moving companies tend to offer better prices and are more available.

  • The downside to winter moves includes frigid temperatures, icy sidewalks and snow!

If you’re lucky enough to get your desired moving date, the rule of thumb about the best time of year to AVOID moving is during:

  • Long weekends; mid-May to mid-August when rates skyrocket; during your child’s school year (if possible) and towards the start and end of each month.

DIY moving

If you’re blessed with a lot of friends who love to help, then moving yourself vs. hiring a moving company can have it’s advantages, such as saving money. If you plan ahead and plan well, it’s easier to achieve a stress-free DIY move than you might think.

Things to consider include:

The kind of moving truck to rent

  • How many items will you have to transport? How far will you need to travel? Will your driver’s license allow you to drive the size truck you rent for the move.

Additional moving equipment

  • There are a number of items you should rent to help make the move less stressful and easier on your back, including wardrobe boxes, padded blankets and appliance dollies.

Extra boxes

  • You’ll also need many boxes of different sizes for your possessions. There are many places to find them, either new or used, and some alternative choices as well.

Everyone’s safety

In the rush of moving day, it’s easy to overlook safety. That’s why to help prevent mishaps and injury and ensure you have a safe, smooth, accident-free move here are just a few things to bear in mind (although there are many more):

  •  Be extra careful when moving heavy items.
  • Make sure everyone is aware of the potential dangers involved.
  • Clear obstacles from high-traffic areas where people will be walking.
  • Require non-slip shoes and gloves for everyone.

Hiring a moving company

For most people, there are many good reasons to hire a professional mover. That includes their expertise in moving such specialty items as:

If you do decide to hire professionals, and as you search for a reputable moving company, there are a number of pros and cons to weigh before deciding:

  •  Is the moving company a member of a professional association that requires them to follow certain guidelines?
  • Do they follow the Good Practice Guidelines for Canadian Movers, established for industry-certified movers?
  • Is the company registered and licensed with the province?
  • Can they move specialty items, including anything bulky, oversize or heavy?
  • Are they insured? A reputable moving company always will be.

Once you have found the right moving company, make sure to have them draw up and sign a contract that specifies:

  • Any surcharges that apply for delivery.
  •  Who is responsible for damage or loss of personal property during loading, unloading and transportation on moving day.
  • An inventory list of all your belongings.

Keeping the rest of the family safe and happy

Pets are part of the family and we love them dearly. However, just as moving can be stressful for us, it can also be nerve-wracking for them.

  • Make sure to plan ahead and think of your pets’ needs on moving day to ensure a safe and happy transition.
  • Try and keep them calm, give them food and water, and when you arrive at your new home, allow them to discover their surroundings at their own pace.

Moving can be hard on kids, too, especially if you are moving to a new neighbourhood and they will have to attend a new school.

  •   Get the kids involved in the move by having them pack up their toys and special treasures.
  • Familiarize them with the process ahead of time by taking about what will happen.
  •  Before you know it, they’ll be settled in and enjoying their new surroundings.

Moving into your first home is exciting and can be stressful. But with enough planning and care, you can move in without a hitch and be relaxing in your living room in no time.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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